Best overall

Chuwi Lapbook 14.1

Chuwi

See at Amazon

You might not have heard of Chuwi, but don't let that put you off. This is a seriously good laptop for people on a budget or who are just looking for something solid to give to the kids.

It's got a seventh-gen quad-core Celeron processor from Intel, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It also has an excellent 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS display. All for under $300, too.

Bottom line: It's well made, extremely well priced and perfect for the little ones to use.

One more thing: Up to 12 hours battery life means plenty of power for school work and a little play time after.

Why the Chuwi Lapbook 14.1 is the best

What is Chuwi? You're forgiven for asking that, but the truth is it's a brand making some great, affordable Windows 10 hardware. Coming out of China, the company's products are easily available in the West and what they're producing hardware that gives some of the bigger brands a run for their money.

A great display, good hardware and excellent battery life.

The Lapbook 14.1 doesn't cut obvious corners that others in this kind of market would. You get a great looking Full HD display, for example, as well as 4GB of RAM, which makes a difference.

Chuwi also packed all this goodness into a laptop that looks nice. Not just for a cheap laptop either, it just looks good. It's well made, sturdy as can be and has enough battery life to get through a day and beyond. At less than $300, it's virtually impossible to do better right now for an inexpensive laptop.

Runner up

Dell Inspiron 11 3000

Dell Inspiron 11

See at Dell

The Inspiron 11 3000 is very close to the Lenovo Ideapad 100s, it just costs a little more and looks less 'grown up,' which is good or bad depending on your outlook. But for the most part its on par with that in the Lenovo and there are equally wild color choices to gets the kids excited.

That means you'll still get great battery life, a decent display and a tough build quality that can take the kind of abuse that kids deal out. And at 11 inches it'll fit in their bag just great.

Bottom line: On par with Lenovo's Ideapad 100s, but a little pricier and more childish looking.

One more thing: There's a 'big boy' version with a 15-inch display and a 500GB hard drive if you're OK with spending a little more.

Best convertible

HP Stream X360

HP Stream X360

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Touching a screen on a mobile computing device is fast becoming a natural way to interact. With a small convertible like the Stream X360 you get tablet and laptop features in one handy, portable package. The hardware is mostly on par with the other options here, but with the added bonus of a touchscreen.

That increases the price but it also increases the options you have. It's not a premium worth paying if a laptop is all you want, but by folding the Stream's display over you've got an 11-inch tablet running Windows 10. And that's just great.

Bottom line: It's a kid friendly convertible that offers the best of both worlds.

One more thing: Snag a year's free subscription to Office 365 with the Stream X360

Best overall

Chuwi Lapbook 14.1

Chuwi

See at Amazon

You might not have heard of Chuwi, but don't let that put you off. This is a seriously good laptop for people on a budget or who are just looking for something solid to give to the kids.

It's got a seventh-gen quad-core Celeron processor from Intel, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It also has an excellent 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS display. All for under $300, too.

Bottom line: It's well made, extremely well priced and perfect for the little ones to use.

One more thing: Up to 12 hours battery life means plenty of power for school work and a little play time after.